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Reforming international investment agreements for sustainable development

The World Investment Report 2022 highlights efforts to reform international investment

agreements (IIAs) to promote sustainable development. This article examines the main trends in IIA reform and the implications for governments and investors.

IIA reform aims to better balance the rights and obligations of investors and states, while ensuring that international investments contribute to sustainable development. Recent IIA reforms have addressed issues such as investor protection, the promotion of environmental and social standards, and investor-state dispute resolution.

Governments have a crucial role to play in reforming IIAs. They must renegotiate, revise or replace existing agreements to incorporate sustainable development provisions and ensure the

coherence between IIAs and national investment policies. In addition, governments should cooperate at the regional and multilateral level to harmonise rules and standards for international investment.

Investors, for their part, need to be aware of the changes in the IIA landscape and adapt their investment strategies accordingly. They should also engage in constructive dialogue with governments and stakeholders to promote high standards of responsible and sustainable investment.

Reform of international investment agreements is essential to ensure that international investment supports sustainable development. Governments and investors must work together to revise and modernise IIAs to better balance the rights and obligations of the parties and promote responsible and sustainable investment.